Bleeding Heart Tetra (Hyphessobrycon Erythrostigma)

Common NameBleeding Heart Tetra, Spotfin Tetra, Tetra Perez
Scientific NameHyphessobrycon Erythrostigma
OriginAmazon, Columbia, South America
Temperature72°F – 80°F
Water Parameters6.5 – 7.0
Adult Sizeup to 2.75 inches

Bleeding Heart Tetra Facts

  • There are over 700 members of the Tetra species of fish, and it is theorized that there are many more that have yet to be discovered.
  • Bleeding Heart Tetras get their name from their blood red colored spot that is located near their pectoral fin. In contrast to their lighter shade body coloration, it gives the appearance that the fish has a bleeding heart.
  • Bleeding Heart Tetras are popular aquarium fish partly due to their interesting coloration, and their ease of which to keep. They are considered a great fish for beginners to the fishkeeping hobby.
Bleeding Heart Tetra (Hyphessobrycon Erythrostigma)
Bleeding Heart Tetra (Hyphessobrycon Erythrostigma)

Bleeding Heart Tetra

Bleeding Heart Tetras (Hyphessobrycon Erythrostigma) are a strikingly colored fish. These fish can be identified just by looking at their coloration. Bleeding Heart Tetras have a blood red spot near their pectoral fins, as well as a black and white patch near their dorsal fin. Bleeding Heart Tetras have light colored bodies that range in orange, beige, silver, and purple coloration.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Male and Female

It is possible to tell the male Bleeding Heart Tetra from the female by simply viewing them in their tank. When viewed from above, you will notice the difference in body shape. The female Bleeding Heart Tetra has a more rounded body, and has shorter, more rounded fins. The male Bleeding Heart Tetra has longer dorsal and anal fins that extend outward in a sickle shape.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Food & Diet

Bleeding Heart Tetras are omnivorous fish, and they are opportunistic feeders. This means that they will search for food constantly, and they aren’t too picky about their food. In your home aquarium, you can expect them to accept most high quality flake and pellet foods, as well as live foods and frozen.

It is important to not overfeed Bleeding Heart Tetra, since overfeeding will degrade the water quality. Good water quality and overall cleanliness is important to the health, happiness, and longevity of the Bleeding Heart Tetra. Feeding them only enough food that they can completely consume in 2 to 3 minutes will help keep the tank clean.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Size and Lifespan

In captivity, you can expect your Bleeding Heart Tetras to grow up to 2.75 inches in length and live approximately 5 years. In the wild, they can grow up to 3.5 inches in length and live up to 10 years. It is possible to keep your Bleeding Heart Tetras around for longer than 5 years in captivity, but it will be largely dependent on how you care for them.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Tank Size

If you are planning on keeping Bleeding Heart Tetras, you will want to first make sure that you have the right tank size. Bleeding Heart Tetras are a schooling fish, and should be kept together in a small group. The minimum tank size for a small group of 6 Bleeding Heart Tetras is 20 gallons. However, if possible, a bigger tank and a bigger group size of Bleeding Heart Tetras is more ideal.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Tank Setup

When setting up a tank for Bleeding Heart Tetra, you will want to keep in mind that these fish occupy the middle of the tank, and it is important to consider when choosing plants and decor.

In the wild, Bleeding Heart Tetras inhabit slow moving waters that are full of leaf litter and debris. The leaves release tannins into the water as it decays, and this benefits the fish. You can purchase leaves, such as Indian Almond Leaves, for your tank that provide them with the same benefits.

When it comes to setting up a tank for Bleeding Heart Tetras, it is best to try to provide them with the same, or similar setup and conditions as their natural habitat. You will want to start with a fine, sand substrate. Bleeding Heart Tetras mostly occupy the middle of the tank, but they will occasionally scavenge for food at the bottom. A darker sand as a substrate is safe, and more closely mimics the riverbeds that they are endemic to.

Bleeding Heart Tetras are tropical, freshwater fish that require their temperature to be kept in the range of 72F to 80F, and their water to be kept slightly more alkaline at around 6.5 to 7.0 pH.

When choosing live plants, the types of plants do not matter so much as long as they are providing them with shaded places that they can hide. Floating plants are a great way to provide them with shade while also not overcrowding the tank. Bleeding Heart Tetras also enjoy hiding in and around driftwood as well.

Bleeding Heart Tetras may need a quality heater for their tank as well. This will ensure that they are kept at a comfortable temperature at all times.

Bleeding Heart Tetras do best in moderate to normal aquarium lighting. Therefore, specialized lights are not required.

Make sure that you choose a good aquarium filter since they produce a lot of waste. Maintaining good water quality is very important for their health. This will help them live longer as well.

Will Bleeding Heart Tetras Eat Live Plants?

In the wild, Bleeding Heart Tetras are omnivorous and opportunistic feeders. They are not picky, and they will eat what they can find when hungry. You should offer your Bleeding Heart Tetras a varied diet of high quality foods including plant matter. You can offer your fish finely chopped vegetation along with their regular foods if you notice that they are eating your aquarium plants.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Breeding

If you are considering breeding Bleeding Heart Tetras, you will want to provide them with a dedicated breeding tank. It is possible for them to spawn in a community tank, but to give the fry the best chance for survival, you will want to keep them in their own tank. You will also want to make sure that the tank has plenty of soft, planted decor to catch the eggs and hide them. Bleeding Heart Tetras do not provide their offspring with any parental care, and they will go after and eat their own eggs and fry.

Bleeding Heart Tetras are an egg laying fish, and once the female is full of eggs, she will lay them on plants in the tank. Once she is done, the breeding pair should be removed from the tank.

Bleeding Heart Tetra eggs hatch in roughly 2 to 3 days, and the fry become free swimming a few days after that. Once they are free swimming, you can feed them food, as long as you make sure that they are small enough for the fry to eat.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Disease

Bleeding Heart Tetras are susceptible to the same common ailments that other freshwater fish are. The health of Bleeding Heart Tetras is largely dependent on the water quality, food, and exposure to disease. In an aquarium environment, disease is often introduced when new fish or plants are added to the tank. Therefore, dedicating a quarantine period for new fish and plants is important.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Tank Mates

Bleeding Heart Tetras are not considered an aggressive species of Tetra. The most compatible tank mates for Bleeding Heart Tetras are other Bleeding Heart Tetras. Bleeding Heart Tetras can also be kept with most other tetras. You will not want to keep them with other fish that are significantly larger, predatory in nature, highly territorial or aggressive.

How Many Bleeding Heart Tetra Should Be Kept Together?

Bleeding Heart Tetras are schooling fish that should be kept with a minimum grouping of at least 6. By keeping Bleeding Heart Tetras in a group, you will notice that they will display their schooling behavior. They may display a more vibrant color as well.

Bleeding Heart Tetra and Angelfish

Bleeding Heart Tetras and Angelfish both come from the Amazon, and they both enjoy the same water parameters and tank setups. For these reasons, Bleeding Heart Tetras and Angelfish have the potential to be good tank mates. As long as the tank is large enough, both species should be able to coexist peacefully.

Bleeding Heart Tetra and Guppies

Bleeding Heart Tetras and Guppies are compatible as tank mates. Both fish are considered to be peaceful fish, and they both enjoy the same water parameters as well.

Bleeding Heart Tetra and Shrimp

Bleeding Heart Tetras and shrimp are compatible as tank mates. There are many species of freshwater shrimp, such as Cherry Shrimp and Amano Shrimp. These shrimp are peaceful and non-territorial. Therefore, both species will be able to coexist in an aquarium.

Where Can I Find Bleeding Heart Tetra For Sale?

You can expect to be able to find Bleeding Heart Tetras for sale at pet stores and online for around $5 per fish.